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>> brian: we will play those final moments, we were on the air when the fir plane hit and what happened after that. you don't want to miss it tomorrow as we look back at nine years from 9-11. >> gretchen: have a good weekend. bill: thank you everybody. good morning, a fox news alert if you're just waking up, this is a significant story breaking out of california. the city of san bruno has exploded. at least six dead, countless wounded. we're waiting on a news conference this morning. that will come up later this hour. a powerful gas explosion, literally leveling the neighborhood, just south of san francisco. so many family this morning have lost everything. right now an incredible sight, still jog gone -- still ongoing as firefighters are dousing the flames, with people running from their doors, for their own lives. the flames so hot they cracked windshield, incinerated homes and injured dozens others and we're getting more information. it's a sight to see. good morning, i'm bill
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heller. welcome to "america's newsroom". martha: what an awful story in san bruno. good morning, i'm martha maccallum. we're getting live pictures of this aefrplt you're picture -- seeing pictures of charred homes that are still smoke, it's literally as if an entire neighborhood exploded in california. an emergency is in effect for this area. neighborhoods said they felt a deep roaring before they saw this guy gant o'clock fire ball. some thought a plane had crashed, others thought it was an earthquake. bill: you wonder if that was the initial speculation but now we're hearing about the fire and heavy smoke, seen for miles. what in the world happened here? listen to what some of the neighbors are telling reporters: >> we sat down and heard this roaring. >> it was a boom, boom, and a massive explosion. i ran outside of my garage and when i looked to my back
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yard i could see the flames. >> i turned the corner and there was a huge fire ball, so i got out of my car and i kind of walked up to see what was happening. i was there when the first fire crews were arriving. >> we were terrified, screaming, like we just ran to our car and it was like horrifying. >> the beds were shaking. it was almost like an earthquake but it was more powerful. >> all the windows in the house shook and the house felt like it was shaking, it that strong, the flames came up stories high. bill: and the stories continue. adam housely is working this story. first, john suzaki, with ktvu out of san francisco, he was in theert what of it late last night. listen here: >> we are at the corner of sneed and sequoia and you see a lot of staging going on, fire trucks pulling up, ambulances pass by, and there's simply a lot of people in the neighborhood who have been sitting here,
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aghast at what they've been this is an enormous fire because. if you take a look at south of us, that's where the fire is going on there, it's a neighborhood that's being protected by firefighters. they're there, just in case these keupbdz winds shift again and right now they're blowing from us towards the fire, so i would say away from we are now. in a few minutes that we've been here, we've seen the flames brought down quite a bit. you can't really see flames from where we're standing at this point but certainly this is in a very tens situation in this neighborhood and frankly a lot of the neighbors have been out, trying to simply lend a hand to the police, firefighters, they've been directing traffic, telling people to stay out where they shouldn't be going, keeping cars away from the emergency personnel area where they're trying it get. this is a neighborhood on guard, watching out for each other, watching out for the emergency personnel as well.
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when we first got out here, as i was telling you, when we first got out here, the flames were quite a bit bigger. walk to your left here and look at that tree. you can see straight past that tree, there is something that is still burning, it looks like maybe the shell of a house. it's very hard to tell. excuse me, sir. yeah, that's probably about two blocks from here, yeah. but yeah, there's definitely something that used to be standing and used to be perhaps a house, some other building, perhaps. and so that that is from this vantage point, two blocks away, looks like it's probably destroyed and the rest of what we're seeing is on the other side of these buildings, on that the other side of that fire gin down here and you can really see a glow in the air. so it's really kind of unclear from here exactly what has burned, but certainly, there's been a lot burning tonight. bill: clearly that was a few hours ago in the middle of the night. it is sun-up now in california. we're about to see day lime
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pictures and some have described this intersection or the area where the explosion took place, it is the size of an explosion you'd find in a big city. in the meantime, we've got more, right, martha? martha: we do. let's go live with adam housely, on the scene in san bruno with the very latest on what's happening there. it's still dark and people are trying to figure out what happened. >> the first hint of light is coming over the hills in san bruno. my colleague from the local affiliate, you heard his report, he talks about not knowing if that was a house or not. a fire chief walked through the area, 2:00 a.m., he had the same type of conversation with reporters he was with, talking about how you look, you don't even know if there was a house there at some time and it was taking until the subpoena light got up to get a better handle on how many homes had been destroyed, how many had been damaged, how many more fatalities are there. he said six dead, they expect that number to rise as they have a chance to go door to door. the sun comes up in san
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bruno, you can see there's a smoldering fire still there in the location, there's smoke coming up from the area. not as dramatic as we saw last night, as you might imagine, which is very good news for firefighters which have been here all night. several hundred emergency personnel are still here from all aren't the area. look at the video from last night, absolutely dramatic. there are some reports saying the initial explosion may have shot flames nearly 1000 feet into the air. we do know at the height of the fire, flames were 2--- 200-250 feet in some places, the winds were fanning this fire, caused by a gas main explosion. the crater is the size of an intersection we're told. it was burning so hot asphalt was basically running down the street like water. it was a seen that was hellish, as some locals have called it. right now, we know that 54 homes have been destroyed, at least that's the number, it's expected to fluctuate, about 120 damaged and six deaths, bi- again, fire crews are
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starting to go in and they do expect the numbers to go up as the sun comes up, bill and martha. a very tough situation. the ntsb is sending out a team and the fbi is here as part of this investigation. martha: as you point out, we don't know what caused this explosion yesterday, and that's one of the very big questions here. the other big question is the one you just touched on, adam, this happened in the middle of the night and as you say, they need to get into those houses and find out. six people are confirmed dead at this point but there could be many more, i would imagine. >> yeah, and injury wise, those numbers are fluctuating because there are so many different hospitals where people were taken to, either by neighbors or emergency personnel. last night, when this happened, we were just about to do another story up here, the glow could be seen all around the bay area, 20 miles away, we're monitoring twitter, local reports, monitoring television, like other people. we also have the scanners on and they were calling any emergency personnel in the area, from any of the sounding -- surrounding
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areas, whether in uniform or not, a triage, to come and help. they're asking for blood donations and expect it to be chaotic as they get through the area. once the sun comes up they'll have a better handle on it. there is one report coming up, we heard from several people in the area, this smelled gas over the last week or so. pg & e says it's their line that exploded, they said they hadn't gotten those reports. that's part of the investigation, martha. that may play out as part of this as well. martha: when you smell something in these situations, as we all know and they're learning there, it has to be taken very seriously. adam, we thank you very much. this is a developing story. we're going to go back to it throughout the show as we get more information. adam, thank you, see you soon. we're seeing a lot of powerful images as we've been showing you on the scenes from san bruno. if you live in the area, have pictures or video from this explosion, please send those to us, you report at it's going to help everyone around the country understand what you folks
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are going through there and we will put some on the air, we will post them online as well. obviously, stay safe. don't get near this unless you have something roared -- recorded or you have a shot you want to accepted us, pass that along and inform everybody else around the country what it likes like there. bill: in the meantime, in washington, at the white house, we're waiting on more headlines from the white house today, president obama hold as news conference a bit later this morning. he will likely address three of the major topics getting a lot of attention this week. juan williams, npr news analyst, fox news contributor, good morning to stkpwhraou good morning, bill. >> the president will stress the economy, topic number one but he is certain to get questions on the mosque, on 9/11, on the koran threat out of florida. what do you expect? >> i think right off the top, they're going to announce somebody to plea place christine rome -- christine romer, the council of economic sreurdzs and it will be austan goolsbee. but large part, what you're saying is on target, it's
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going to be about the economy and he's going going to say why are republicans and in specific, continue on the treatment he's been going after all week, which is the john boehner, the minority leader, republican leader in the house, is act ing a a man obstructing tax breaks for small business, breaks for research and development, putting more money into railroads and highways and airports. -- airports. that's going to be at the tkproepb. we'll see what reporters ask. bill: when the reporters ask, the economy is likely -- back to the topics of this week, the story is the burning of the koran, the mosque around ground zero, and he made a comment about the beginning of ramadan at a white house dinner on friday night. is the white house willing to go further on this topic, do they feel there's more of a clarification needed or does the president feel that i've spoken mai peace, i said what i'm going to say and that's it? >> no. you know, what remember, bill, he came back afterwards and said that he
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wasn't endorsing the project, he was simply saying they had the constitutional right. i think today is an opportunity for him to talk about the idea that maybe it is a bit of a provocative action, the way they have perceived terry jones' threat to burn the koran as a highly provocative act that's unnecessarily offensive to people, so it's possible he could go down that track. i have not heard if he will do it but i think this is clear ea -- clearly a primary opportunity if he ever intends to do it today. bill: it will be must-see tv, we'll have a live shot of that. juan williams, thank you. next hour, karl rove is here, he weighs in on the president, the mid terms and about everything else that's moving today here in "america's newsroom". rove, here. twelve minutes past. martha: is our nation safer, nine years after 9/11? a top security panel who investigated 9/11 is going to announce their findings this morning. governor tom cain, one of the chairs of the 9/11 commission will join us live
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on who he believes based on their work is the biggest threat to the united states now. bill: also a story hot online, police want access to personal medical information, what are you thinking. they say it will prevent drug overdose and critics say it violates the right to privacy. we report, you decide. back in a moment. martha: we are awaiting a news conference from a -- conference from a lieutenant governor object that deadly gas explosion. the search is underway right now, we have full coverage on fox news, something we've on fox news, something we've never seen, folks, on the gas explosion in california.
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bill: so nine years after 9/11, a new report says america faces a changing security threat here at home. a bit later this hour, that report will go public and my next guest will help deliver it. thomas cain, tommer co-chair of the 9/11 commission and former governor of new jersey is back with us and governor, good morning to you and thank you for your
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service through all this, the 9-11 commission, and taking an awful lot of your time, about but you've given it generously. thank you for coming back today. >> thank you. bill: what are you about to tell america about its security nine years later? >> basically that the threat is evolving, that we did a lot to prevent the problems after 9/11 and some of those recommendations the commission made, it's still a work in progress, but nevertheless the threat has changed and we've got to be aware of the changing threat. we've got for the first time terrorists born in this country, american citizens out there to do us harm, being trained in places like yemen and so*eplala and we've got to react to that threat. bill: the home grown threat, that's the gold standard for al-qaeda. >> that's right. bill: it's the gold standard for any of these extremist groups here. that's the thing they want, and it worked at fort hood in texas, it failed in times square. >> that's exactly right. bill: are we capable of facing this, of dealing with this? or what are you ready to
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tell us about what you've learned through this study? >> what we've learned through the study is this threat is real, it's coordinated, it's something al-qaeda wants to do now. they'd still love to do the big event, they'd love to attack us on a mass level, if they could have killed more than people than on 9/11 they would be happy to but they have trouble mounting the large attacks because the leadership is diverse and fractured and killed in a number of case, so they're moving to the smaller attacks and if they can they're going to use people who are nontraditional terrorist, people who don't like the terrorists we suspect, people who come from different areas, different backgrounds, religions, and a number are american citizens that are being recruited and that's a real danger. bill: and an american passport. you touched on this, it's not likely, you now conclude, that a nuclear or biological attack would not take place at the hands of al-qaeda or a similar group? >> it's not impossible, but it's more unlikely. it's more difficult for them to pull it off. it's hard to get enriched uranium, it's hard to
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smuggle into the country, particularly if you come from outside of the country, but everything becomes more possible if you have an american passport, if you're educated, born in this country. then a lot of our security details we suggest up since 9/11 fail, and people get through. bill: you conclude that the u.s. government is not equipped to deal with this. >> not -- >> bill: that's the part about what you're going to say. how do we change that? >> you change it by focusing on it. what usually happens, this is traditional in any government, i guess, we prepare for the last attack, what happened to us last time, we worry about, so we make sure it won't happen again, an we've done that again and again. the problem is that the threat evolves and we have new threats and al-qaeda is not static and it changes and it comes out of different areas of the world and in different ways, and we have to be prepared for those changes. and the biggest change we're worried about now is native born people who are american citizens, went to school in america, recruited by al-qaeda, often sent to
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somalia or yemen to train, then they come back here and they're ready to attack us in ways we don't expect. bill: one of the cyl sisms you had when the 9/11 report was -- criticisms you had when the 9/11 report was made public was that you were concerned that the government would not listen to you. do you have that concern now? and do you feel that they're still giving you a deaf ear now? >> i think they're giving us a very respectful hearing. this report is new, i'll be able to tell you in a little while whether or not they listen to this one, but take our 9/11 recommendations, most of them have been kpwhre mend, in fact, in some degree. not as much as we want them to. we're safer, not as safe as we want to be, but this is -- what we're talking about today is the fact that it's an evolving threat and new threat and therefore we've got to be prepared for this and attack it with the same energy and concern and verve that we have attacks in the past. bill: lee hamilton said
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people are turning their attention away from terror and turning it to the economy. the report says they'd better not. >> there's nothing wrong with focusing on the economy, there's nothing wrong with doing that or health care or anything else but no matter what we're focusing on, we can never take our eye off the ball of the safety of the american people, that's the top concern of the u.s. government. if this administration or any administration takes their eye off that ball, we're all in trouble. bill: governor, thank you. you go public in 40 minutes. we appreciate the preview now. thank you sir for your time. martha, what's coming up? >> martha: a new warning that the worst may be far from over in the tk-dally colorado wildfires we've been covering for you. thousands of people have been forced from their homes. we are live on the ground with the very latest on that. then hillary clinton on the rise. a higher profile for her. raising a lot of questions for her. we're going to talk about that in a fair and balanced discussion. very intriguing. that's coming up. we want to know what you think. go to"america's
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newsroom", send me a tweet, an e-mail, martha maccallum, do you think hillary clinton has something in her plans. when we come back.
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bill: all right, 924 time team here in new york, 6:24 on the west coast. if you're just joining us and waking up, there is significant news south of san francisco where a tiny town now has seen an explosion rip through a neighborhood. at last check, six are dead, dozens are wounded. and many of the wounded taken to the local hospitals, many listed in critical condition. what happened here is something we're still trying to figure out right now. was it a giant gas line explosion that ripped through at least 50 homes, sending people literally running from their their front doors for safety and cover late last night?
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screen left is a live look, screen right is what they watched, the fire ball burn throughout the night for hours. most of the flames now doused. in a moment you'll see the daylight pictures of what is left over in san bruno, california. back on that breaking news in a moment on "america's newsroom". martha: this morning, we are awaiting a moment of silence on wall street. the stock exchange tpurblly remembering the attacks that happened # years ago tomorrow. now, tomorrow, of course, is the anniversary of that date. it's when we recognize what happened. let's listen in during this moment of silence on wall street.
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martha: there's probably not a person on the floor of the new york stock exchange who didn't know somebody, lose
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somebody, a family, friend, a member of their firm. it was extremely painful for everybody who worked on wall street on 9/11 and it is a very potent memory for all of them so, that moment of everybody pausing to remember those who were lost on that day, and we will continue that as we head into tomorrow. but that is the open, coming just a couple of minutes on wall street as everybody thinks aboutby that day, nine years ago. hard to believe. bill: it closed that tuesday morning and did not open until that following monday. martha: and the head of the stock exchange, he got tremendous credit for how quickly reopened the market, it was the heart of the economy of the united states, and it went on and it was quite a recovery. bill: we will be back there on wall street when the trading gets underway in a couple minutes time. in the meantime, we're watching this story, too. secretary of state hillary clinton, as she's setting herself up for a 2012 bid for the white house. why some are saying yes. we'll debate that in minutes
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martha: and what happened in california where they're still going through the wreckage and trying to put out the flames? an apparent gas line explosion leveled a dozen homes, more than 15 homes lost in san bruno. we have the investigation and trying to figure out how this happened. we're awaiting on a news conference. we'll take through live. >> the fire ball was 100 feet or more in the air, so i'm a firefight sorry right away i knew it was a major, major thing. and it just would not stop. so we knew it was some kind of gas mine, because it just kept going, literally, 100 feet flames. it was amazing. >> the house there was rebuilt a year ago, and you can see it now, it's gone.
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bill: 9:32 in new york. we're watching this tragic situation in california this hour, six are reported dead, countless dozens wounded after a powerful gas explosion leveled a neighborhood in san bruno, that's south of san francisco. right now, firefighters on the scene, with the -- wr-t flames blew up 54 homes and damaged more than 100 others. that explosion, by the way, just south of san francisco. on the map behind me, it is about a few miles south of the city, you'll see, but only 2 miles west of the airport. that could have an impact today on air travel in the area. meteorologist janice dean is watching this for us today. we think most of the flames are out, janice, we hope
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that's the case but only an hour or so ago we told it was 50 percent contained and hopefully the weather won't have an impact here. >> no, luckily this morning we're going to be dealing with winds that are very calm, but as we go into the afternoon hours, winds are going to pick up a little bit and just looking at the observation from last night, we did have gusty winds around the san bruno area until around midnight, so gusting around 20, 30 miles per hour. we actually had a system that moved in across the great basin that brought those gusty winds. the temperatures have been low, though. that's good. the humidity right now is very high, 72 percent, so that's going to help firefighters with the fight with these fires, and this is not like a wildfire situation, this is like a gas explosion. i spoke to my husband earlier on today who is a fireman, he said this is a completely different beast. there's a different protocol those firemen go through when it's a gas explosion. they basically haveo have to wait until they can actually
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go in and try to fight these fires, so this is a really, really tricky situation. luckily, for the next couple of hours, anyway, where we've got that marine layer, conditions are going to be favorable for firefighters. as we get into the afternoon and the sun comes up, winds are going to start to gust again, so hopefully, hopefully, they can get a handle on this within the next several hours until we get into the 11:00, 12:00 local time. bill: janice, thank you for that. interesting to note, too, when you talk about the difference with fighting a gas fire, too, and that's what they're up against right now. still, as the sun comes up now. and martha has more. martha: we're joined actually on the phone by jane porcelli, she felt the explosion, she was in her condo and joins us live on the phone. jane, good to have -- to have you with us. i'm sorry about what's going on in your home. talk to us about what it was like for stkpwhraou i was sitting in my condo about six, 6:15 and all the sudden the patio windows started to shake so i thought it was an
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earthquake, but the house wasn't moving, just the window. martha: how far away are you? >> about a quarter of a mile, half a mile. martha: when you went outside, what did you see? >> i saw smoke, but i heard a bang, and the planes fly over the house all the time so you think it might be a plane. and then i saw some flames. martha: did you go out and investigate, did you get a closer look or was there anything to get away? >> no, i went up to seep it and it was terrible. martha: oh my gosh. >> and the flames, 1000 feet, that's a minimum. it was like you know when a plane crashes, it has a crash field? that's what it was like. martha: at that point did you still think that might what about it was or were people on the scene aware it was a gas explosion at that point? >> no, they were saying it was a gas station that went up, which it wasn't tkpwau the -- because the gas station is not there, and they said it was a plane and
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i was listening to the scanner and they said it was gas. martha: it must be so frightening fall the --o all the family necessary that neighborhood, we know six people have lost their lives in this tragedy. what are you hearing on the ground there about the investigation and what they're find something. >> they're moving people all the way back, they're not letting anybody close and they're going to go through it today. but the thing is, we were put on a voluntary shelter in place evacuation, but i didn't do it because i felt that was okay, but i went to bed last night at 12:00, fully dressed. martha: ready to go, right? >> and had my bags by the door. martha: yeah, and what about the flames now? >> there's really no big flames now. there's little tphraeuplts that they're putting out. and the smoke, the air outside is much better than it was. martha: some people said, jane, they smelled something a few days ago. did you smell anything? >> no, i'm too far away from
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that area. martha: all right. so we're going to keep a close eye on this. we thank you very much, jane, for joining us and we're glad you were far enough away to be safe and our thoughts and prayers are with your neighbors just a half mile, a quarter mile down the road, and we thank you for speaking with us, jane, you take care. bill the way she describes that, imagine that, 1000 feet high f. not more based on her description there, and what you'd find this morning? we mentioned some of these fires could still be burning right now, because you know how the gas is, you go and detect it, try to figure out where it is based on the smell and the tests the firefighters are doing now, but this is a battle. martha: there's nothing scarier than a gas explosion because there's no warning, and when people smell something -- we can't stress that enough, it's after the fact for these folks, of course, but if you smell something, you have to listen to your instincts because you see in cases where homes exploded and in this case it had this huge horrific domino effect that has literally -- imagine your whole neighborhood, think about your neighborhood at home, and imagine if you woke up this
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morning and 53 homes were gone. it is just a tragedy. bill: they had about 200 firefighters working the scene throughout the night. we don't know how many are on scene but you heard adam say the call went out, all hands on deck, we need your help now, and it spread to 10 acres in this neighborhood of san bruno, just west of the airport there, and that affected areas, you can see on our map here, that's san bruno and that's what they're dealing with now. there were many dramatic images of this deadly explosion. log on to our website, fox there on line, you'll see the latest on what's happening right now, as well as the incredible images from the scene, and they will stop new your tracks. we believe we're about 22 minutes away from a press conference. the governor, arnold schwarzenegger is out of the state and overseas so the lieutenant governor is set to address the people of california and we will tap into that here at the top of the hour when that begins. that will be our best source of information for
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californians in san bruno this morning. stay tuned for that. martha: we'll be back on that story throughout the area and also we're going to talk about hillary clinton, what's going on with her and what she may be planning for the future and how about this, the prescriptions you're taking could become a matter of police business. that would be odd, right? that's what may happen in one state. is it legal? bill: also, what do you folks think? do you think local law enforcement should monitor your prescriptions? that's our online poll this morning. and some of the most difficult decisions in our nation was history were made moments after the terror attacks of september 11th. >> we were into something way beyond anything we ever had to handle before. i was watching a man throw himself out the 101st, 102nd floor. >> you feel that your life is in danger, do what you must do. >> people were counting on me to make decisions.
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martha: in moments an up close and personal look with former mayor rudy giuliani as he relives those tragic events.
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martha: well, is a democratic presidential primary of 2012 already underway? some watchers are guessing such a thing that, hillary clinton has been raising her profile a bit, shall we say, and comment that is are getting quite a bit of attention. listen to these: >> i think that our rising debt levels pose as national security threat. it also sends a message of weakness internationally. these drug cartels are now showing more and more indices of insurgency, all the sudden car bombs show up which weren't there before. so it's becoming -- it's looking more and more like colombia looked 20 years ago. martha: well, it's been said
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that secretary clinton doesn't do anything without thinking about it first, so is there anything to any of these speculation? let's bring in two folks who follow this closely. rich lowry, doug schoen, a form pollster for bill clinton and fox news contributor. good to have you gentlemen, good morning to you. it really strikes me, rich, when she goes to this debt issue specifically, this is the one that really got a lot of attention, the debt is up 26 percent since barack obama took office. it's clearly, based on all the polls, a hot issue for americans. when she goes there, is she dividing herself a bit from the president? >> president obama has said similar things. it's just he's not really going to do anything about the problem. but he does acknowledge that it's a problem. look, i think hillary's contri tech of obama from the primaries looks better and better as an inexperienced, naive liberal, he got his 3:00 a.m. phone call on the economy and blew it with his failed stimulus, so i give her credit from precience,
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but this would be a heavy lift, the odds of beating him would be slim, the odds of taking the party and going on to win the general election are slimmer still, but if she decides to do this and hires doug sho*uen as her consultant, she is guaranteed victory! >> doug, have you gotten that call yet? >> i can say this is the first time i've agreed with rich lowry in a long time! martha: but -- >> i won't look for that call, march that. i was part of ted kennedy's campaign. martha: you know how that went. >> that didn't succeed and he was a liberal who started 20 points ahead. rich is right, it's very hard to beat an incumbent president. secretary clinton i think has made it clear she's going to be a loyal part of the administration and frankly i think the president at this point needs to think more about replacing his chief of staff and perhaps even his secretary of the treasury than he does worrying at this point about 2012. martha: what about in the quiet moment, doug, and rich
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allude to this, there has to be moments of her looking at people who have become disillusioned with the president and saying look, i told you so, i told you i had more experience, i told you i knew what i was doing. there has to be those moments for her. >> let me be hard head fod a second. if she sat down with polls and ilum knitted like that they would see president obama has a 75 percent approval with mainstream democrats, slightly higher with those that vote in the primaries so it's not really even practical -- >> martha: what about with independent? >> independents he slipped but there's not enough of them that typically vote in democrat primaries to bounce an insurgency based on that political base. i don't ste as practical and secretary clinton has given no indication she's going to leave the administration and do it, so i think that rich is right, i'm not going to get the phone call. martha: all right guys, we're start on -- short on time because of that breaking news in california. good to have you with us,
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rich, doug schoen, keep us posted. we'll be talking to both of you soon. here are comments we got from folks at home. this from strawberry short cake, no kidding, and she wheats this, i think she will. i think it's been her plan all along. i think she did things that -- does think that she will have more supporters than president obama and this from sheriff, difficult to challenge an incumbent president from inside the party but if anybody can do it, it is hillary. that's some of the thoughts we're getting from folks. lots of e-mail and interest. and a shortcut for you, a shortcut to american politics, you can get all the latest political developments heading into november's mid terms in the palm of your hands, folks, go to, get the america election headquarters iphone app and be in the know. bill: you got to go to the app. martha: got to go to the app. bill: 53 days, is that what it is? martha: i'm there. bill: we're hearing from eyewitness who saw the
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incredible gas explosion in san bruno. in a moment, we'll talk to someone who lives on the block where 54 homes were destroyed. he is live in only moments from san bruno, california.
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martha: the dow chance up five of the six last sessions. not a whole lot of corporate economic news is driving the market, but if the market goes higher we're going get out of its way and let it, it's up 20 now, we'll keep an eye on it throughout the morning. bill: in the meantime, back to the breaking news out of california, san bruno is the town that was on fire all night long. we're waiting on a news conference that should begin in about nine minutes, lieu tenant governor of california will give us probably the best information to date so far
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so stay tuned for that. john gordon, meanwhile, lives in the neighborhood, he watched this whole thing unfold and what a night it's been for him and his wife and baby daughter. is everybody okay in your family and your friends and neighbors? >> yeah, everyone is fine that i know, yes. bill: john, what happened last night? where were you, what did you feel, what did you smell, what did you see? >> well, about 6:10 last night, i was getting off the bar train about a mile 1/2 down the hill and from the parking lot, i looked up the hill towards my house, and there was a huge ball of flames. and i thought it was -- i followed it to see if it was close to my house. as i drove towards my house, the smell of smoke, i could actually hear the sound of the gas, of the flame, and as i came up i realized it was off san bruno, which was
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where i lived, and as i got to my house, walked down the hill behind me here, the flames were just above the tree line here which that's quite a steep hill, so i would say there was at least 100 feet from where i see and 100 feet down the hill, so the flames were going about 200 feet in the air. bill: john, you said you could hear the gas. what kind of a sound was it making? like what was it, a hiss coming from the ground? >> it was a hiss, a hiss and a roar. bill: had you smelled the gas in your neighborhood in recent days or even yesterday? >> no, i had not. bill: and you went up to see the flames, and then you went back to your house. how in the world did you spend the night? >> well, we didn't have power until probably about 2:00 or 3:00 this morning and of course, got about an
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hour's sleep. then the lights came back on and i actually got to watch the news and see what was going on. and i thought the fire was actually much closer to us from what i saw here, and what i've seen on the news. it was actually quite a bit a ways away, and for the flames to be that big, that far away, it was real bad. i could actually see -- >> bill: you could actually what, john, sorry? >> i could actually feel the heat from it up here. when there was a big explosion part come up, you could actually feel the heat coming up. bill: some people describe flames a thousand feet tall. i know it's difficult to pinpoint something like that, especially in the heat of the moment. did it look like that to you? >> maybe 500 feet. bill: that's still substantial. how far is your home from the epicenter of the explosion, would you say?
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>> less than half a mile. probably closer to about a third of a mile. bill: and how are the neighbors reacting? have you talked to them this morning? what are they telling you? and what are your conversations like, john? >> i haven't really talked to anyone this morning. last night, everyone thought it was an airplane that crashed and hearing the hissing sound and the rumbling, an airplane doesn't make that explosion for this long. i mean, i was up here the on -- 90 minutes after it happened and the flames were still going high, and i said that's not an airplane. bi: your gut was right, it looks like. john s. your neighborhood in the flight path for san francisco international airport? >> not directly. we do see the planes take off. they take off -- they would be taking off pretty much right over the -- or just to the -- i guess it would be the flight was -- on the
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lefthand side of the aircraft could see the fire. bill: john, thank you for your time, my best to you, your wife and your daughter and all your neighbors out there in california. thank you john, good luck, okay? we're waiting for answers. we expect to get them in a matter of mom, martha. martha: we are waiting for answers, everyone wants a better understanding of how this explosion happened, whether or not there were any warnings signs that suggested it was going to blow, and a huge intersection, they said it literally looked like a plane had landed in the middle of a ball of fire in this neighborhood. and then, when the smoke started to to clear a little bit, they got a better handle on this. we're going to find out what happened to the best knowledge to the lieutenant governor of california who will step forward in a moment. arnold schwarzenegger is not in the country at the moment so the lieutenant governor will handle this live. ♪
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switch to regions. martha: big news and we're waiting now for an update from california, on the san francisco suburb. that literally was engulfed in flames. and, ripping through the neighborhood. last night as it stands now, at least 6 people are dead and, it happened the middle of the neat and involved 54 homes and 200 -- lots of injuries as well, as many as 200 homes were damaged, in all of this and the firefighters are continuing to battle the inferno, and it was triggered more than 12 hours ago, by a suspected gas line rupture, but there is still a lot of questions about how it happened, and that is a brand new hour of "america's newsroom," i'm martha maccallum. bill: i'm bill hemmer. martha: good morning. bill: good morning on a friday, a scene of sure terror as homeowners ran for their lives, racing from home-to-home and a
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big question is if there were any warning signs the dinner time disaster was about to happen. >> did they receive calls of problems, prior to this happening, because usually there is' warning that something will happen. >> we have -- that will be part of the investigation. that will take place. we can't confirm as to whether or not we have those right now, our first priority, again is to really make sure the area is safe and we'll fully cooperate, and the investigation will look into any kind of thoughts about when or if there was any gas smelled in the area. bill: that was from late least night and with the gas company there, in northern california, adam housely has been there all night and is back with us live on the scene and we expect a news conference time the next 30 minutes, and apparently is -- under the circumstances, you can understand it is delayed, and it will be one of our best sources of information once it begins and where you are now, what can you see with the sun up and day breaking in san bruno? >> reporter: you know, one
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reason why they might have pushed the press conference, two are planned, because the fire chief decide aid couple hours ago, said he had a chance to walk through the homes and expects the death number of 6 to go up and the homes damaged and a live look, now that the sun is up, we give you an idea of our location, a block or so up the street om where the explosion took place and what you see in the distance is the fire sik vehicles and the homes that are burned are basically 100 or so feet down in a gully, past the fence and the neighbors that live here saw flames last night at the height of the fire, at the tree-tops in the distance, that is a couple hundred feet, 200 feet, 250 feet up in the air, how high the flames were burning at the height of the fire, and brought in air tankers which you normally see in a wild land fire and fire retardant and the fire was so difficult because you had not the only gas fueled part of the fire and the homes on fire and you had two
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totally different kinds of fires to fight and, the heat so intense, asphalt was running down the street, like it was water, and, neighbors blocks and blocks away, felt the explosions and said their home shook and windows shook and even the nearby san francisco international airport had to have the planes fly instrument rating because the fire was so intense, and smoke could be seen and the glow could be seen around the bay area and it was dramatic, we were across the bay watching it unfold, as we watched the blackberries and our devices you could see, twitter calls go out, e-mail chains, even on the radio, you could hear radio calls, for any and all emergency personnel, whether in uniform or not, whether on duty or not, to come out to the scene, and help with the evacuation and help people that were in need. bill. bill: adam we talked to an eyewitness, 10 minutes ago and he said he heard a loud hissing sound last night and to him it was a clear indication there was a gas leak and that was the source of the problem and in the end may turn out to be exactly right. can you hear --
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>> reporter: exactly. bill: can you hear anything or smell gas at the moment. >> reporter: no, no, we don't right here but we talked to neighbors in the area, a couple this morning and there's another report, too saying they smelled gas the last week and whether or not that was reported, that is part of the investigation and what is -- a couple other things, too, take note of here, bill, one, the explosion was so massive that the actual nies-- noishl explosion point is a crater the size of an intersection and, it blew up the water main and they had to string hoses together and bring them to the neighborhood to help battle the flames and it was a difficult scene and there were a couple of different people with the gas company, power company, pacific gas an electric said it was their gas line that blew and of course when they had the official spokesperson come out they say the investigation is still ongoing and that is going back and forth, and we expect more information about a confirmation, whether or not it was that line come the press conference and for all intents and purposes we are told that is
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what happened, a gas line explosion and the ntsb is sending out a crew as part of investigation and the fbi is on scene, helping local authorities with the ongoing investigation, bill? bill: adam, while you are talking we now have our first day time pictures of the epicenter of the explosion. a live look from a helicopter looking into the neighborhood of san bruno and they had to bring water in from two miles away, in order to fight the flames and we expect the lieutenant governor and we'll stay tuned for that. adam, thank you and yeoman's work, and bad to adam housely and everybody else we can get in contact with in san bruno, in moments. martha: in the meantime, all eyes on the white house, this morning, as well. we're waiting for president obama, he'll have the first news conference in a while, a lot on his plate, to be sure. elections, 50 odd days away and what will we hear today, talking to carl rove, former senior advisor and deputy chief of
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staff to president george w. bush and fox news contributor, carl, good morning, good to see you. >> reporter: good to see you. martha: let's start in here, robert gibbs indicated that one of the things the president will discuss this morning, is that republicans want to preserve the tax cuts, the bush tax cuts for the wealthiers americans, that is the way this is going to be presented. your thoughts on that? >> well, that gives us an indication of which president obama is going to show up. we had a choice between the bipartisan consensus-building president of the united states or the leader of the democratic party/campaigner that we saw in cleveland earlier this week and we'll see the latter more than the former, president obama wants to make this about whether or not the tax cuts for the top two brackets should be continued or whether taxes should go up and what happened, is about 6 -- nearly 6 out of ten people in those top brackets are really small businesses reporting on the individual tax bracket rate and that is why democrats in
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states like missouri and colorado and indiana, and nebraska are democrat members of congress or democrat candidates, are saying we ought to continue the top tax brackets, because, they are hearing from small businesses in their states and districts, and, you are going to kill the job creators if you raise taxes. martha: yes, i saw this morning one out of three americans agree with you. one out of three think they should keep all of the bush tax cuts and the other two are saying that they should only be for people, 250,000 and under, and if that poll is right the white house is politically on the right side of the issue. >> well, it may be but is hard to make the argument, out there in the hinter lands, and you notice there are not a lot of democrats saying, by god, the president is right and you have the op sit and you have candidates like carnahan in missouri and, you know... martha: bennett an nelson. >> and evan byah and kent conrad, chairman of the budget committee who are disagreeing with them and there is a
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difference between putting it in the abstract and the concrete and the person who worries about this is the small business person, they'll be motivated to make there vote on it and you may say, oh, it sounds great and raise it on people making more than $250 tours a year and is less likely to be the item on which you make your decision and for a lot of small business owners they say, it's where i need to draw to create jobs and, i will not go for a candidate in favor of taxing that. martha: and as you said we may see the head of the democratic party, when we see president obama speak to the public and take questions from press. there is some talk, though, about these midterm elections, which the president has been focusing on a lot, and that say folks like you, car, have been too optimistic. the numbers that you are putting out there, how many republican wins are likely, may be a bit rosy and may not account for a number of things that might happen at the ends here. >> look, things do happen in campaigns, and, i'm not sure --
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i'm note most bullish person around and i've heard the estimates and the republicans taking 60, 70 seats and i have been cautious, in fact about it, but, looking at the 111 polls, available on congressional races, the democrats are in a deep hole, 30 incumbents trail the republican challengers, and democrats are losing 7 of 9 open seats that have been polled, of the 36 democrats who are ahead of they're republican challengers, in the races that were polled, 12 of them have leads of less than 3 points, and 18 have leads of less than -- 3 to 5 points and that is not a good place for a party to be. i used to think the odds of the republicans getting the 39 seats they needed to take control of the house were long and now we're in the range of 37 and 45 seats and the senate is clearly, everybody admits, the republicans are likely to make big gains. this is not a healthy year to be a democrat. now, are -- is it going to be easy? no, are there lots of twist and turns available in you bet.
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do the democrats have advantages? they are not going to be caught by surprise and they've got a monetary advantage at this point. the question is, at the end of the day, is it likely to be a big defeat for the democrats, and i think the odds are that it is. martha: it will be fascinating, to watch unfold in the next 50 days and we'll do it with your help, good to see you, karl, thank you very much. >> thank you. bill: we're watching the pictures, now, aerials of san bruno, california, there it is, the location where the gas exploded, 6:00 last night, 9:00 eastern time, the flames spread through at least ten acres in this town, burning and touching at least 120 homes, suffered serious damage, 6 or saare dead dozens wound and expect the numbers to change this morning and, there is' chance, any time -- you don't see flames but if the gas is out there it could ignite again at any moment. there are more than 200 firefighters on scene, battling this, and, with the help of kgo
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in san francisco, we can now see a day time look at the epicenter there, in san bruno, california and also awaiting a news conference and we'll monitor that and take you there live as soon as it starts and they're setting up the microphones outside of a red cross van and we'll hear from the lieutenant governor because arnold schwarzenegger, the governor is out of the country, while california and san buno deals with that. a big story on a busy friday morning and we'll be back on that story in a matter of minutes here on "america's newsroom." activia's great new taste? isn't this the yogurt that, you know... helps regulate your digestive system. trust me. it is beyond tasty. mmm. this is really good! new best tasting activia ever!
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bill: 7:15 in san bruno, california, new developments, we're learning some of the firefighters out there in california, in the neighborhood are going home to home checking another possibility of more gas leaking, and also, we hear that a lot of water is now being dumped on the homes that are still in that immediate area. to make sure that the fire does
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not crop up yet again and this is an ongoing deception story and we're waiting on a news conference, from california, you'll see that live here in a matter of moments and this is where we believe the explosion took place, last night, 6:10 local time in san bruno, california, it is just south of san francisco, a bit west of the airport, a beautiful, stunning part of the country, and the neighborhood said to be tight-knit with neighbor taking care of neighbor and we've heard from some of them already today, in san bruno in a matter of minutes here on fox. martha: new developments in a pentagon plan to block a book that was written by a former defense intelligence officer. this is quite a story, folks the book is called "operation dark hearts" an examines the, quote, tipping point in afghanistan, post-september 11th and the book also alleges a covert task force identified the lead 9/11 hijacker before the attacks in new york, washington
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and pennsylvania, and that of course is an explosive assertion and we spoke exclusively to the author of the book who also appeared on fox news as a military guest and our national correspondent catherine herridge is doing this reporting and is live in washington. so, what is the author saying about the nature of what it is the pentagon now does not want people to know? >> reporter: good morning, martha. i spoke with the author, lieutenant colonel tony schaeffer before he was ordered by army public affairs not to discuss the book until negotiation are complete between the publisher and the defense department. >> apparently, defense intelligence agency took exception to the way the army cleared the book and a second review is now underway. of the book. >> reporter: is that unusual. >> highly unusual, yes. >> reporter: what's the problem. >> well, the problem is, apparently, there's information in the book which dod is uncomfortable with and that now is something i'm not quite entirely clear on what the information is they are not happy about. >> reporter: it is defense
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department -- are they trying to block your book. >> at this point they have blocked the book. >> reporter: martha, defense officials are in the process of blocking the first run of the book, the first 10,000 copies in an effort to keep it off the shovels and the target date for the book is delayed -- shelves and the target date has been delayed from late august to the end of september. martha: trying to pull 10,000 copies of the book and have any been sent out yet. >> reporter: some books have already been publish, and, in effect are in the warehouses but the key thing is i obtained a letter sent by the defense intelligence agency or dia, to the army, complaining about the review process, it's an important point here, the army cleared the book, and the defense intelligence agency stepped in, and said they had complaints, and let's look at a section from that letter, it reads in part: dia, defense intelligence agency's preliminary classification review of this manuscript has identified significant classified information, the release of
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which i have determined could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to national security. the author and the publisher counter that the information in the book was obtained through open sources, in other words, already in the public domain, martha. martha: a very interesting story and we'll follow your coverage of it throughout the day. thank you very much. bill: another story that grabbed a lot of headlines, first he planned to burn the copies of the koran on 9/11 and now may come to new york city instead and what is the pastor, terry jones do now and he's making headlines and what will he do on saturday, we'll get a first hand report on what we know. martha: this story incredible, san bruno, california, the latest shots we have of the wreckage from what appears to be a natural gas explosion, pipeline, in this neighborhood. and we'll take you live to the news conference as soon as it gets under way and the lieutenant governor will tell us what they know, about what happened, go to and find out what you should and
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shouldn't do, if you think you have a gas leak, this is very important information, that everybody needs to understand. to prevent something like this from happening to you. we'll be right back.
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bill: there are new developments in a florida pastor's controversial proposal to burn copies of the koran, the reverend terry jones says he will not move forward with the burning at least for now but it could hinge on what comes out of a visit to new york city tomorrow and if the visit does happen. that is when jones hopes to meet with organizers on the fate of a mosque near ground zero and our senior correspondent in new york, eric shan has been on the story today them. latest as best we can tell now,
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eric. eric: bill, no koran-burning tomorrow at least for now. and it has been a really confusing back and forthwith pastor terry jones of the 50 member dove outreach center in gainesville, florida and now he says he will not hold this is "burn a koran" day if he can meet in new york city with the backers of the ground zero mosque and yesterday, jones announced he wouldn't conduct the burning because the florida imam, mohammed musri said the new york imam feisal abdul rauf agreed to move it away from ground zero. and, it all turned out that that was not true. >> we made an agreement that the mosque in new york city would be moved, that location, ground zero, they'd go someplace else, and in return, for that, we would cancel our koran-burning event. this man of god, according to his religion, has now lied to us. eric: it is much -- he says it was jones who stretched the words about the claims the new
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york mosque would be moved and there is no meeting with imam feisal abdul rauf scheduled tomorrow in new york, so far, and, meanwhile last night a person in his office said the pastor never talked, and the group, cordoba initiative issued a tweet, saying it has been a strange day, and sorry for any confusion caused by inaccurate reporting. it wasn't this inaccurate reporting, that caused the confusion, it is conflicting statements in florida that caused the confusion and feisal abdul rauf and his wife, daisy khan have no plans to meet with the pastor and they say, quote we will not toy with our religion nor barter and, he'll speak out more on monday and is set for a meeting at the prestigious council on foreign relation, as he continues to defend his controversial and very contentious plans. bill: we wait, eric sean, 24 past now, martha.
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martha: nine years ago, this week, we witnessed one of the darkest days in our nation's history. and, now, former new york city mayor rudy giuliani is revealing stunning information about what happened to him, on september 11th. >> within an hour, we decided we were going to have to work 24 hours until we got everyone out. our life-saving operation, ordered the generators to light up ground zero. martha: much more on this new 9/11 special. from the man who became america's mayor, who can forget. bill: and president obama speaking soon at the white house, will be a full-blown news conference, expect news on the economy and questions from mosque controversy and possibly the koran-burning tomorrow and also tomorrow, september 11th, you'll see that in 30 minutes from the east room of the white house and also, minds awutes aw back to california. this is unlike any car you've ever seen before.
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are seeing on videotape and in the live image you will see in a moment and we're watching those developments, the news conference will be live when it begins in san bruno, california, in the meantime we have heard from eye witnesses, who tell some amazing stories, one of them is david pinnochi and, he joins me now and david, 6:00 local time you were a mile, mile-and-a-half away to a local soccer field, picking up your kids from practice and what did you see and feel and hear. >> caller: i received a phone call because my back was -- i got out of the car, and, a good friend of mine said something exploded by your house and this minute i turned around i saw a mushroom cloud of smoke and fire like i had never seen before and i basically turned around and ran as fast as i could back to my car, i was a mile, mile -- mile to a half mile away from my
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house, and massive traffic, everyone trying to get to their houses and i parked my car and ran about a half a mile, when i got to the front of my house, lucky enough, my kids were outside, my wife had a back-to-school meeting, which is basically half a block from our house, and had basically got home before we did, and she was staged outside, three kids and i mean, whatever else happened, you know, to our house, didn't make a difference after i knew my family was safe. bill: you are right, how far is your home from where the explosion took place? >> caller: my backyard, our backyard goes into the canyon and the explosion happened inside the canyon, that is where it caught on fire, we were evacuated, not only because of probably the trees but because of the smoke, it was starting to climb up this mountain of the canyon, and the canon is probably on a normal walk,
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probably -- a block, how big of a canyon it is, not that big of a canyon and drops down maybe 100, 2, 300 feet it drops down and it is not that big. bill: your home is okay, smoke inside, is that right. >> caller: yes, actually i went home, about 20 minutes ago, and from down in a -- at my in-law's house, where we spent the night and we were able to sneak into the house to get personal belongings, clothes for the kids today, and stuff like that. and, no, really not much smoke inside the house and the garage was full of smoke, and smelling, anyway, because i had the garage door open while loading my pickup truck. bill: you are one of the lucky ones and what are you hearing from the neighbors and in-laws, and what are your conversations like, this morning, as you wake up? >> everyone, you know, they are -- there's -- my wife works for -- in san bruno and there's other people that work in san bruno, and some people have not been reported yet, some people
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call -- obviously called in sick to work today, so, we know they are safe because they were able to call in sick and some people don't know, i was at a local star bu starbucks getting a cup of coffee and were waiting to see when they could go to see if their homes are safe. bill: we're awaiting on a news conference from the lieutenant governor and think it will be the best source of information we have had all morning and, you'll be able to see it live here and one more question, we have been asking everyone throughout the day here. did you smell any gas at any time, in the last week or -- >> no. bill: last day or two. >> no. no. i know i was watching obviously local news, last night, and people did supposedly report that they smelled gas, but, no, i didn't smell any gas. bill: david, our best to you and your family, okay. >> appreciate it. bill: good to hear your voice and thanks for telling a compelling story. >> thank you.
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>> ultimately, good to know you are okay, david, san bruno resident and we'll take you to the news conference once it begins and it is sliding a little bit and you can imagine trying to get all the facts and information together but when it starts you'll see it here first. martha: news coming out this morning, the president will award the first medal of honor to a living service member for the wars in iraq an afghanistan. president obama spoke with the staff sergeant to inform him he'll be awarded the middle of honor for acts of gallantry for risking his life, above and beyond the call of duty and he'll be the first living service member to be awarded ththe medal of honor for service in iraq an afghanistan, a significant decision to give the award to just -- this specialist, and he was in afghanistan in 2007, one of the most brutal sites of the battle and when you hear his story you will be truly impressed by the
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acts of gallantry of the fine young man and there's a number of things we expect to hear from the president this morning, and he's about to hold his second full news conference of the year, the economy of course is expected to dominate the event, and there are a number of headline issues which we dealt with, quite a bit here, this week and expect will also come up, mike manuel is live at the white house, as part of the white house perspective, is the promotion of a member of the team, to head -- take over for christina romer, correct. >> reporter: absolutely right. and forgive me, a truck is going by... live television. but austan goolsbee, who has been a trusted economic advisor to this president, was an advisor to the 2004 senate campaign of barack obama and 2008 presidential campaign and has been an insider and someone who the insiders of the obama team believe is very effective at selling the president's message on the economy, on television, and, is being
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elevated, i'm told he was promoted, if you will, wednesday night in the oval office, after the president traveled to ohio, to make a speech on the economy. so expect that to be part of the ten minute or so opening statement, largely focused on the economy, the first full-blown white house solo news conference by the president since may 27th, when bp was the big issue, the spill in the gulf and now the economy is the focus. martha: and one of the hot issues with the economy is this expiration of the bush tax cuts and some democrats and people close to the president, his own party, think that they should be extended across the board. no doubt he'll get questions about that today, mike? >> martha, absolutely, on wednesday, we saw in parma, ohio, the president tried to make a strong case against the bush tax cuts for those making more than $250,000. but in an interview after his speech, there, he refused to say
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the word, veto, but as you said, peter orszag, wrote an op-ed, saying he should extend all the bush tax cuts for two years and scrap them altogether and other democrats who are concerned about the idea of raising taxes on anybody when the economic recovery appears to be so weak, are saying they think all the bush tax cuts should be extended and we'll see how the pat handles that -- the president handles that, shortly, martha. martha: when they were put in place they were set to expire but nobody could have foreseen the economic situation we'd be in now, mike emanuel, at the white house and the press gathering in the room, getting ready for the news conference and exciting to get a shot at asking the president questions and everybody has their questions ready to go, we'll see what happens. bill: when he calls the news conference and given the events of the day today there will be news, you can guarantee that at the top of the hour here, tomorrow is september 11th and split-second decisions in the tragedy is the reality from nine years ago and in a new nat-geo
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special, former mayor rudy giuliani says what he witnessed during one of the darkest days in the nation's history. >> it looked like a nuclear cloud. gray smoke, coming toward the building. bla things flying through the streets. things hitting the side of the building, and all of a sudden it became dark outside. totally dark outside. bill: you can watch the rest of that gripping special, the national geographic channel on monday, the 13th of september, check your local listings for the time in your area, the former mayor, rudy giuliani will join us, tomorrow at noon, eastern time, and martha and i are on the air for a special edition of "america's newsroom," starting at 12:00, noon, eastern, going to 2:00 p.m. on what will be the 9th year
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marking the events of september 11th. martha: looking forward to having you join us for that tomorrow and now we are following this deadly situation in california, a neighborhood practically reduced to ashes, after a suspected gas line ruptured, a lot of questions here. about exactly how this happened, more eyewitness accounts are coming in, with the inferno and the latest updates from the news conference which we expect shortly. bill: and changing gears for a moment, good news nfor drivers, there are fewer accidents on the roads across america, good news, why the transportation department thinks we can thank the economy, for the drop. we'll explain.
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and because it's activia, it helps regulate my digestive system. mmm, works for me. new activia dessert. ♪ activia sadly, no. oh. but i did pick up your dry cleaning and had your shoes shined. well, i made you a reservation at the sushi plce around the corner. well, in that case, i better get bk to these invoices... whh i'll do right after making your favorite pancakes. you know what? i'm going to tidy up your side of the office. i can't hear you because i'm also making you a smoothie. [ male announcer ] marriott hotels & resorts knows it's better for xerox to automate their global invoice process so they can focus on serving their customers. with xerox, you're ready for real business. >> i'm jon scott along with jenna lee we'll see you in less than 20 minutes for happening now, the president's first full news conference in months and he different like this venue very much. what is in it for him? a event where anything can happen, want you to watch. >> and great reaction from the chair of the republican national
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committee, michael steele, will be joining us, a little later on along with steve forbes about what the president's economic policies, the new initiatives, really means for your money. we have big guests coming up, a big show, see you at the top of the hour. bill: thank you, traffic fatalities are at the lowest levels since 1950, believe it or not, ray lahood says it may be connected to fewer people going out after work, typically, a more dangerous time to drive given the economy, and folks are staying home, they believe and according to the government more than 33,800 people died en cr--n crashes last year alone, down significantly from 37,400 the year prior and experts say carses are safer and drivers and passengers are following the rules, on the road. martha: wow. continuing to bring you the latest details out of the news conference, crews are assessing
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the damage and have the light of day to work with and here's the neighbors, who were reacting in california, and to what they felt last night. listen to this: >> we heard do, do, do, do, do... and, a big explosion, like, really big and i thought at first... we saw like fire coming from down, behind our backyard, and, sky go light and i thought this is judgment day. >> we fled. we were terrified, screaming, we just ran to our car and like it was like horrifying. martha: horrifying indeed. stephanie mullen witnessed the blast, an associated press news editor, based in san francisco and joins me now on the phone. good to have you with us. these pictures are incredible, it is -- >> caller: we were at a soccer field a mile from the scene when it started and it was immediately clear it was a major event and chaos, right away.
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martha: stephanie, you're in the news business and cover a lot of stories and did you think it was. >> being a california i first thought it was an earth earthquake and had the low roar a earthquake starts with and we thought we'd be hit with a big quake and when it didn't follow a couple second later there was a huge fireball behind the soccer field and it was so large, it shook the ground and we were absolutely positive, i mean, everybody stopped and looked out and knew there was something crazy going on and our first thought was, since it's not a quake, here in the path of san francisco airport, could it be something going on over at the airport, and i mean, there was a lot of speculation and it was obvious it was a massive explosion, from about half a mile, mile away where we were standing. martha: wow, looking at the comparison of last night's scene and what it looks like there today. and talk to me a little bit about what we know now in terms of the gas explosion, and how something this powerful could
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have been brewing under the neighborhood, with nobody realizing it. >> i believe there will be a lot of speculation about what caused it and neighbors had thoughts and ideas of what was going on immediately. and, you know, i think the investigation is going to tell us a lot. this -- still a lot to be learned. martha: yes, some reports said that people smelled gas or smelled something, odd, and a lot of times before you have a gas explosion of any kind it doesn't necessarily smell like gas but smells like a strange smell in the house or the area. >> many people were saying that in the neighborhood. there has been a lot of work going on around there, and, people were smelling interesting things, but, i don't think pg & e has come to any conclusions yet. martha: we'll see what we get out of the news conference, stephanie mullen, based in the area, a mile or so away at a soccer field and watched it unfold, good to have you with us, and i know you'll be waving the news conference and as soon
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as we get that, the lieutenant governor will step in for governor schwarzenegger and hopefully give us insight into what is going on. bill: we'd like to know, huh? waiting hours for that now and the folks out there in california, you bet they want to know, too. a train crash, southern california, a surgical team had to be called in. to perform an amputation, to free the engineer from inside. look at that. that this is wreckage of a locomotive, here ended the me moving freighter, 50 miles east of l.a. two people on board the train were hospitalized and the other railroad workers hospitalized with unknown injuries, and said to be only moderate and the jer will live, had his arm amputated and to free him from the wreckage, east of l.a., again, late last night, in southern california. martha: well, now, a new warning for thousands of people in colorado. be ready to evacuate at a emerging market's notice an seems like there are fires all over in the west today, and there are new fears now of a flare-up in what is already the worst fire in that state's
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history. that story, far from over. bill: and waiting on the president out of the white house, east room and moment he'll be facing tough questions on the economy, and just about everything else, that is happening in our country. you'll see it, live, 11:00 a.m. eastern time, right here on fox. [ rumbling ] [ air whooshing ] [ crunch! ] [ male announcer ] 11 grams of delicious whole grain. one mighty toasted crunch. new wheat thins crunch stix. the crunch is calling. that's why there's crest pro-health clinical gum protection toothpaste. it helps remove plaque at the gumline, helpinprevent gingivitis. and it's even been clinically proven to help reverse it in just four weeks. new crest pro-health clinical toothpaste. that's not how successful investing is done. at e-trade it's harnessing some of the most powerful yet easy to use trading tools on the planet to help diversify, identify opportunities, take action.
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bill: "fox news alert," 9 minutes away, we expect to see the president, east room of the white house set to take reporters' questions moments from now, just be the second time this year the president has met alone with reporters at the white house, taking their questions and the economy will be' big issue, certainly, and tax cuts will be on the agenda today. and, by the way, trish turner, our producer on the senate side of capitol hill just is reporting a jim webb, democrat out of virginia considered in many circles to be a moderate
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senator, is also questioning the wisdom of only extending part of the bush tax cuts and joins a long list of these moderate democrats who have come out the last few days alone, saying, if you are going to extend the tax cuts do it for everybody not just a certain sector of america and that is coming in to us how and we'll see the president in a matter of moments, questions on the economy, you can bet your bottom dollar, so to speak, on that coming up the top of the hour. martha: michael bennett, colorado and a lot of people raising that question and we are waiting for this: you can see this microphones set up, the lieutenant governor of california, maldonado is expected to step in front of the microphones, as we get the latest, firefighters have been working on this blaze, that came at an intersection in san bruno, that exploded and took away at least 50 homes, there could be a lot more homes damaged in this, 6 people lost their lives that we know of and we're waiting for
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an update on that as well, because, the sun is just -- has come up a while ago and adam housely says, it was most likely to get a handle on the casualties and whether or not the number has to be increased and that is why the delay and an explosion that literally engulfed an entire neighborhood. bill: and neighborhoods in america are not supposed to explode, not like this. adam housely said they are going house-to-house in some cases looking for the possibility of those who might be listed as missing at the moment and also, continue to put water and -- isn't oum of the homes to make sure the fire doesn't come back and the gas leak and, if so they can manage that. martha: housekeeping here, to begin with and wield tae'll tak right there, how one house was not touched and, the next to it explode and need to see where the gas lines ran underneath. let's listen to this gentleman... >> emergency medical services, the red cross, volunteers, and members of the community, and,
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our political leadership from the mayor, and, all of the folks i have behind me here, let me introduce some of them for you. we have with us today, the mayor, the vice mayor, rico medina, council member, ken aberra, council member, irene o'connell, michael salazar, and city manager tommy jackson, the police chief and the police from the fire department and our incident command leader last night, we have president chris johns from pg&e and joined by senator leland y echlyee, jerry who represents this district and one of my most important partners, harold brooks from red cross when is always out there
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and doing a fantastic job. as we closely monitor and responded with state and local assets to this fire, our lieutenant governor who is also our acting governor, in the absence of governor schwarzenegger, has been an important, and a partner with this, and leadership role, after having that declared we declared a state of emergency by the state and the lieutenant governor and acting governor, maldonado directed me to reach out to fema and ask for a federal management assistance grant, and, because of the size and scope of the fire and i'm pleased to announce last night, our important fema importance and craig fugate granted that and that will help us on the operational cost and it is my honor to introduce to you, the lieutenant governor, maldonado.
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>> good morning, everybody, as you know, the garden is in asia this morning and i talked to him 25 minutes ago, and i have kept him on par of what is happening here in the city of san bruno. and, i asked him if he needed anything for me to say, and he said, to thank the men and women who are on the front lines, helping the people of san bruno and i'm here to do that and i also want to thank the mayor, who when i came here late last night he was here and obviously with a sad face. this is a horrific tragedy. our hearts go out to those impacted by those -- the horrible disaster, without warning, many of these people's lives have been changed forever and my deepest prayers go out to everyone. we know that a natural gas line ruptured yesterday around 6:24 p.m but we don't know what caused it, or what happened. we will find out soon. here's what we do know, right now.
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in the city of san bruno, it is 75 percent contained, 38 structures have been destroyed, seven structures have been damaged. we have had 52 patients, three critical burned folks that have gone to the hospital with third degree burns, four firefighters have been transported to the hospital, four people have been killed. and we have one shelter at this moment open and at the evacuation center with approximately 25 people out of this morning. i want to say what we did last night. we deployed 67 pieces of fire apparatus, including 21 local fire engines, 1calfire engines, 20cal mutual aid
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engines, four airtankers which were very, very important that were deployed immediately to san bruno, one helicopter, we employed dozers and water vehicles and canines on site. thirty we'll be deploying 30 more engines to san bruno. california emergency management agency opened a coastal regional operation center and state operation center in sacramento last night. fema approved a fire management assisting grant, we call it fmac, that will help pay for the firefight. the city of san bruno last evening proclaimed a local emergency and right after the city proclaimed a local emergency, i with the extraordinary impact of this disaster declared a state of emergency last we think, to
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open the door for paying for firefighter and -- firefighting and recovery. i also want to thank the local red cross and those being here to help. i want to say a few brief words in spanish on what we know now: >> speaking in spanish [. jenna: hi everybody, everyone is wrapping up this news conference that's happening in san bruno, a suburb of san francisco, we're monitoring that news conference closely on "happening now" because obviously this is one of the biggest stories overnight where a gas line apparently exploded, although the investigation is still taking place on exactly what caused this fire. we're just hearing it cost six people their lives. jon: we're going to continue to listen to the news conference. lieutenant governor there, he was giving his
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